Condensation is one of the most common forms of damp in the UK’s 25 million homes and it becomes an even bigger problem when the colder winter months set in. Preventing condensation is important because if left untouched, it can cause unsightly black mould to grow on your walls and furniture or even health problems such as flu, asthma etc.
First, how does condensation occur?
Condensation occurs when warm air comes into contact with a colder surface like a wall, window, mirror etc. Warm air can hold more water vapour than cold air; meaning that when it’s rapidly cooled by contact with a colder surface, the vapour becomes water droplets, or condensation.
So, what can you do to prevent condensation?
Find out below.
1. Open your windows
Keeping your home ventilated is a sure-fire way to prevent condensation. If your window has trickle vents (most do) then make sure these are open. If this doesn’t help, then try investing in an interior dehumidifier, these are small containers that draw moisture from the air and are great for extra protection.
2. Turn on extractor fans
Whether you’re cooking with boiling pans or having a shower, always make sure you have an extractor fan turned on. If you can, try to leave the fan on longer than you were in the room for as this will clear any excess moisture.
3. Keep a constant temperature in your home
Whilst you don’t want to waste money heating the rooms you don’t use, cold rooms are more likely to suffer from condensation. Most radiators have a thermostatic valve, set this to level 1 which will ensure a small amount of heat is pumped into the room, and don’t forget that unused rooms will need ventilating from time to time.
4. Leave a small gap between your furniture and the wall
This will enable moisture to move freely and circulate around the room. If the moisture lingers between the furniture and walls then it will liquefy onto the walls and could eventually form that unsightly black mould.
5. Insulate and draught-proof your home
A warm home suffers less from condensation. Try insulating your loft to the recommended depth of 270mm and make your windows and doors draught-proof by sealing up the gaps. By doing these things, not only will your home be warmer but also much more energy efficient and can increase your property value by up to 8%*.
6. Dry your clothes outside
This will prevent excess moisture from lingering in your home. If you have no choice but to dry clothes inside, we would recommend keeping your windows open and doors closed in these rooms. If this doesn’t help, try running a dehumidifier whilst drying clothes as this remove all moisture from the air.
7. Make sure your washing machine is correctly vented
From just one load of washing, two litres of moisture is emitted into the air.
* According to Department of Energy & Climate Change publication dated 17th June 2013
Have any suggestions or tips for preventing condensation? We’d love to hear it – leave a comment below!